Bells’ Art Collection, Part 5

Don’t worry. I’m feeling a bit more vocal this week. We’re in the second half of the alphabet, but there is some great art coming up. My Tara Chace pieces, work from a WWE legend, and a big old beard. But that’s to come.

This week I have:

  • Molly Hayes (from Runaways) by Adrian Alphona
  • Nico Minoru (from Runaways) by Christina Strain
  • Niightcrawler by Skottie Young
  • Nomad by David Baldeon
  • Penny B (from Phonogram) by Jamie McKelvie
  • Rachel Summers by Hwan Cho
  • Raven by Franco Aureliani
  • Raven by Mike McKone

Other posts of my collection can be found here.

And the whole thing is on Tumblr.

Come back next week!

– Bells

That’s What I’m Talking About – Chris Claremont on Character Development

I know I said the next time you heard from me, I’d have something special. And I’m working on it. I’ve got a big piece on Phonogram 2: The Singles Club that I’m working on, but these things take work. In the meantime, I saw the following and had to share it.
I don’t care when you started reading comics or who your favorite creators are. You need to be reading Christopher Irving and Seth Kusher’s Graphic NYC. There, you’ll find some of the best, most in-depth comics interviews anywhere. This is Comics Journal level stuff. Guests range from Bendis and Paul Pope to Dick Giordano and Chris Claremont, from whom I pull the following quote. It’s a bit long, but it’s all important.
“Len’s vision of Nightcrawler was a bitter, tormented and anguished soul. Dave’s and my response was partly ‘been there, done that, and seen it too many times.’ But when we sat down and kicked it back and forth, trying to hammer it out is that if you’re walking down the street and get hit by lightning, and it makes you look like that, there’s a rationale. But if you’re born like that, you need to have a tremendously offensive chip on your shoulder your entire life—which is valid—or you go the other direction, which is to have him go ‘I’m cool. You guys have no idea: I can walk up walls, hang upside down, I can fight standing on one leg with my two hands, a foot, and a tail holding a sword. And I’m invisible in the dark.
“We thought ‘Why not take the most outrageous looking character on the team, and make him the most rational, human, decent and most empathetic soul?’ Naturally, he and Wolverine would bond because opposites attract. And they work. It was the same with Logan, who we put as much into answering ‘Who is he?’ and ‘Why is he?’ Len originally saw the claws as part of the costume. As Dave and I were doing the character, we thought that made him like Iron Man, and the problem with Iron Man is that anyone can wear the suit, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Tony or Rhodey. What makes him special? What makes him unique?
“ ‘So the claws are part of you?’
“ ‘Yup.’
“ ‘You never told anyone.’
“ ‘You never asked,’ Chris snaps his fingers. “Then you have, suddenly, this interesting physical difference (i.e. he has claws that pop out of his hands), but the implication that it must hurt every fucking time. That sets up the line in the first movie where Rogue asks him ‘Does it hurt?’ and he says ‘Every time.’ That’s one defining moment, but the other is in ‘You never asked.’  That catalyzed a key moment in Logan’s personality. That’s how you put them together: you take all these little bits and slide them in, and build your edifice one layer at a time. You have a general sense of where you want to go and how you want to get there, but the details of how the pieces fit to evolve this three-dimensional character is very much a matter of organic growth rather than construction, so you just follow the leads.”
There are two points I want to pull from this:
1) No character is ever complete. Like real people, they are constantly evolving. Parents may have a strong hand in their child’s life, but he/she is the combined effort of every person they ever meet in his/her life.
2) Look how much thought goes into these character’s personalities. What would make Nightcrawler unique, besides his appearance? Who would he bond with on this team? How does Wolverine’s claws being a mutation rather than equipment alter his personality? Irving points out how this comes from Claremont’s background in theater. A theater major in college myself, he’s right. These are the questions you need to ask. When you’re handed a script, those are the words, those are the actions. It’s your job as an actor to ask “Why does my character have these responses?” A writer then asks the question “What would their response be to …”
Chris Claremont – Still uncanny after all these years.
I love it.

New Art from C2E2 and Boston Comic Con

I’ve been to a couple conventions in the past few months, I so figured I should eventually show off my new acquisitions.


C2E2 – This may be new my favorite convention. It may be smaller than the big shows, but that just means it’s more manageable. It didn’t have a flashy guest list, but I got to meet dozens of creators over the two days.

Captain America by Sean Forney. I just saw this guy in the aisles and liked his style.
Captain America by Sean Forney

Nightcrawler by Skottie Young. Uh … awesome, much?
Nightcrawler by Skottie Young

Superman by World Wrestling Entertainment Legend Jerry “The King” Lawler. One of the greatest heroes of all time drawn by one of the greatest wrestlers of all time? That’s a two-fer.
Superman by Jerry "The King" Lawler

Tara Chace by Brian Hurtt. Possibly the best drawing in my sketch books. You can’t even call this a sketch. This is a full blown commission. Unbelievable. It’s blows my mind that artists can do something like this, but when they show it to the person who asked for it, they say “Is that good?” Holy hell yes it’s good! Also, Brian knew my name by the end of the first day. May have to do with him having the same one. Maybe not.
Tara Chace by Brian Hurtt

Thor by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway. People hated on the Teen Titans strip from Wednesday Comics, but I liked Sean Galloway’s art. I asked him for a Thor with a big ol’ beard. Well done.
Thor by Sean Galloway

Boston Comic Con – BCC has grown by leaps and bounds since the first one I went to about three years ago. It used to be in the basement of a convention center, now it’s taking over a huge room at the Hynes, in the heart of Back Bay. As it’s gotten larger, to guests lists have been incredible. This year alone had Frank Quitely, Darwyn Cooke, J. Scott Campbell, Art Adams and dozens more. I wasn’t really there to shop, so I finished everything in one day, but it was a fun day.

Gwen Stacy by Tim Sale. I love Tim Sale. His minimalist sketches are really classy. I had him sign my hardcover of Spider-Man: Blue and got this sketch for my friend Jane’s birthday.Gwen Stacy by Tim Sale

Juggernaut by Declan Shalvey. Readers know how much I love the current run of Thunderbolts. Regular artist Kev Walker does a great version of Songbird, but Declan Shalvey has impressed me every time he’s filled in, especially with his Juggernaut. Look at the drawing! All the gray tones, the white out he used for smoke. There’s even sections where you can see his fingerprints in the dust. Pens and brushes be damned! Also, it’s incredible. A new favorite among my friends.Juggernaut by Declan Shalvey

Wolverine by Ming Doyle. Ming Doyle is a local Boston artist. She’s a hip lady with a great style. When I saw her art, I knew she was the one to get Wolverine from. He looks grizzled, haggard and ill-tempered, just like Logan should. Wolverine by Ming DoyleX-Factor #215, pages #7-8 by Valentine de Landro and Pat Davidson. As I said about Thunderbolts, readers know I love X-Factor. One of the main reasons is how far into the future Peter David plans. The Madrox/Layla marriage has been in the works for years. As I flipped through Pat Davidson’s original art pages, I saw this, the proposal scene. I had to have it. At $50 for the spread, it was a steal. I’ve got my fingers crossed I can one day find De Landro’s penciled pages.

X-Factor #215, Pages 7-8